Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Garden Whimsy on a Budget

BRRRRR!!! It's March in depressing as depressing gets. Cooped up indoors with no island getaway to look forward to, I decided to clean up my computer files. I found this blog, and scrolling through it, I remembered how beautiful my garden was last summer, and how in just a few short months, I'll start creating it again. Most of the country has had a miserable winter, so I thought I'd reshare this blog in hopes it will warm you up like it did me!

If you've read my past garden blogs, you know that I'm BIG into Garden Whimsy. Why? Well, first and foremost, I view flower gardens as magical places. Walking through a garden should stir your imagination, inspire you, make you laugh, and bring you joy. 

Garden Whimsy doesn’t have to break the bank! 98% of the fun things that fill my garden came from garage sales. If you're a second hand snob, too bad for you!! Garage sales, flea markets, and thrift stores are a veritable treasure trove of "darling on a dime!"


Cute little white chair from a flea market. $5.  My 14 year-old daughter decided to jazz it up! Adorable. She now has a summer business doing this.
Found this 1980's wicker chair at a church bazaar: $10. 
Great stand for a planter!
Love this chair!  It's a mess...paint peeling, seat falling in. $2
on garage sale. Doesn't it look great in the garden, though?

My neighbor, Carole, found this chair on a curb marked "free."
She took it home, cut off the legs, and hung it on her fence. Cool!

Found this chair at the Goodwill for $5. It was a boring beige color. I painted it Pistachio Green for my back porch! Vase, bird, and flowers are also thrift store finds.


$12 Walmart find! Who doesn't love a frog hug?
Flea Market: $3. Now that's something to crow about!

$2 at a garage sale. This gal is two feet long, two feet high. 
Precious (although as a gardener, I'm fundamentally against rabbits!)
Found this gorgeous lion piece at an estate sale.
Once upon a time it was a genteel finial.  HEAVY! $25

This little guy came from Menard's (a midwest big box store).
$16. I can easily move him around to provide color when
plants go out of bloom. He never fails to make me smile.

End of season clearance at Hobby Lobby $15.  I love this guy!
He lives in the day lilies.  Everyone
comments on him when they walk in the back gate.

Not just for Grandma anymore. Plastic swan planter. $5 at the Dollar Store.  Throw in white impatiens. It'll brighten up any dark corner!
$1 on garage sale. Hey Diddle Diddle!

Hand carved and painted. 3 feet tall! Estate sale: $10. He loves this shady corner!

Animal Shelter Garage Sale. Only $1! He stands
guard under my Korean Dwarf Lilac Tree.


Flea market find. $2. I put mums in this box in the fall! Another garage sale must-find are plastic light-up jack-o-lanterns. In the summer, you can pick up HUGE ones for a buck! These look great stuck around the garden in September and October.

Flea Market. $5 for the pair! I love the weird, twisty shape!

This is my "purple garden." It sits off my driveway 
under a pussy willow tree. All of it's garage sale stuff. If it
isn't purple, it gets painted! 

More Purple Garden

Dragonflies in the "purple garden." It's hard to see, but they're
made up of mosaic glass. Super sparkly when the sun hits
them!  Found them at Family Dollar for $3 each! 
(This summer, my goal is to get that pallet painted!)

Colorful mushrooms from the dollar store!

This little guy was 25 cents on a garage sale. He'd been
bought on someone's vacation and was no longer
wanted. I find this kind of stuff all the time! Cast-off
vacation souvenirs make great Garden Whimsy! 

Flags are always great! Make sure they inspire you! 

Mail Call!
Garage Sale: $1

This concrete fountain doesn't work anymore. Bought it for $30 on a garage sale. Weighs a ton! It took three men to load it into my car! I filled it with perennial Hen and Chicks. I'm in the process of adding fairy garden elements to it: a tiny bench, arbor, etc.

It's never too early to start planning your garden whimsy for 2014! When the snow flies, hit the thrift stores. When people are stuck inside, they start cleaning out their clutter. You know what they say about one person's junk....


  1. Love your post! Those chairs are charming. I used to go to garage sale and found lots of good stuffs for next to nothing. I haven't gone to one lately since I moved to a townhouse.

  2. What a wonderful tour of your garden! You and I would have so much fun going to yard sales and thrift stores! Your garden is beautiful!